For many businesses, a call center is the heart of customer service. Touchpoint where customers turn for help, and agents, in turn, support the company's sales. No prizes for guessing why the "call center" is so called -the main method of communication between customers and companies is based on communications via a telephone connection. However, today call center agents interact with customers through various channels and the call center has become a contact center. Most people will find it difficult to tell the difference between a contact center and a call center. Both are customer service tools, and both involve telephone channels. This is the main similarity, so let's see how the two models differ.
Contact center vs call center: what is a contact center?
Contact centers are a relatively new development. They don't have a negative image in contrast to call-centers. The contact center appeared as a reflection of modern business needs. After all, nowadays there are many other ways to contact a client, except by phone.
Consumers want omnichannel communication and stable, qualified service, for its part, the company is looking for new ways to improve customer service.
The basic difference between a contact center and a call center is that the former provides additional services, such as:
VoIP phone services
Call from the site application
Contact centers are often operated by third-party companies and are used not only for customer service but also for other activities, such as telemarketing, technical support, order tracking and invoicing. Technologies allow not only to use different channels of communication with customers but also to optimize information flows.
Here are some of the main advantages of working with a contact center:
Automatic call distribution. For example, the distribution of calls by agent based on skills, activities or priorities.
Modularity. Contact center structure is flexible to adapt to fluctuating volume and nature of calls received by helplines. You can always choose a specific solution for a particular company.
Scripts. Contact centers often operate using customized scripts for every customer interaction. This gives agents a framework for sales and support and can help with confidence when tackling tricky situations.
Real-time reporting Contact centers monitor agent productivity and customer satisfaction across multiple channels.
Contact center vs call center: what is a call center?
Call centers are designed to handle a huge number of calls. Typically, call centers are used for customer service, debt collection or sales. They can field inbound calls, perform outbound calls, or be a hybrid of the two.
What can a call center do?
Telemarketing. Since the cooperation with a contractor is always cheaper than maintaining your own sales team, telemarketing is one of the most widespread uses of call centers.
Debt collection services. Debt tracking can demotivate your employees, transferring of these tasks to a call center can be a great way to collect payments.
Surveys. Often, the call center is involved in data collection and inform of innovation. Surveys help find out which products and services best meet the needs of your customers.
Perform marketing activities. In conducting marketing campaigns, it is necessary to promptly respond to the requests, process promo codes, contact the winners. An outsourcing call center can handle your project around the clock.
While call center operators usually handle inbound and outbound calls using traditional telephone lines or via VoIP, contact center agents handle the full range of digital communications. In a modern multi-channel contact center, technical support takes place via chat or video, order status updates are delivered via SMS, advertisements are sent as push notifications, polls are deployed via Facebook Messenger, and e-mail orders are redirected directly to the agent for updates via the phone. Call centers handle voice communications, contact centers handle all communications, but both have a common goal: to improve customer service.